Chapter 9: Intimate Encounter
For a few moments after Nathanael left Hannibal and Selina’s quarters, Hannibal sat on the edge of the bed in silence before rising. Without saying a word, he walked to the balcony doors and opened them. A pleasant breeze blew in the doors, echoing with the noise of a multitude from the courtyard. Selina joined him as he walked out to the edge of the balcony and looked over into the thirty-acre courtyard, which lay a hundred and seventy feet below them. The square bustled with people going about their business. Merchants had set up their booths and were displaying their wares for all to see. Crowds of people gathered around the various booths with some form of exchange for the merchant’s goods going on, oblivious to Hannibal and Selina as they watched. Selina clamped on to his arm as they watched. He leaned on the rail with one hand as they watched, staring into the crowd while they milled about. “What’s wrong?” Selina asked, sensing some unease in him. For a moment, he didn’t answer. She nudged him and asked again, “What’s the matter? Something’s eating at you. I can feel it.”
Turning to her, Selina immediately noticed tears draining down his cheeks. “I don’t know,” Hannibal finally answered, “I have this terrible feeling of impending doom. Many of these people are going to die very soon and very violently, and I feel powerless to do anything about it. I just don’t know.”
Selina felt his emotional pain from the dilemma and hugged him gently. Looking him in the eye, she said, “You’re having a premonition. Don’t let it worry you. Trust the Lord. He knows what He’s doing. Come on, let’s go and get something to eat.”
A weak smile crept across his face as he replied, “As usual, you’re my counterbalance. Thank you, princess. Some lunch sounds good.” With that, they went back in the bedroom. Yet Hannibal sensed some anxiousness in Selina as they approached the bed. He gently restrained her by the hand, stopping next to the bed. “What’s wrong, princess?” he asked. “I’m feeling some anxiety coming from you now that I didn’t feel out on the balcony. What is it? You can tell me.”
“I’m afraid,” Selina admitted, turning to Hannibal. “And I don’t know why. Once I felt your premonition, I felt an icy fear take me. Something sinister is afoot in this place.”
“I know,” Hannibal replied soberly, pulling her into a gentle embrace. “You’re now feeling what I felt earlier. There’s a darkness in this land that’s about to do something terrible. But I don’t know what it is or what to do about it.”
Selina hugged Hannibal tightly. “Neither do I,” she murmured. “It doesn’t make any sense. I feel like I’m fixing to lose you to this thing. I don’t want to lose you. You’re my life.”
“You’ll never lose me,” Hannibal declared. “We’re soul mates, fused telepathically by forces greater than we are. You’ll never lose me. Yes, there may come a time where we may be separated, but you’ll never lose me. The Lord has willed our being together, just as you so eloquently proved to me when we were married. We can’t let our fears of what may be stop us from living in the here and now. This fear is not of the Lord. It comes from the Darkness. Let’s fight it together by getting dressed and walking boldly out of here. Besides, I’m starving.” Almost as if on cue, Hannibal’s stomach rumbled loudly.
Selina broke out laughing, feeling her fear subside. “You always know what to say to quell my fears, Hannibal,” she purred happily. “I don’t know how you do it, but you always know how to make me feel better. Thank you.” With that, she kissed him gently on the lips. “Can I ask one thing of you?” she asked.
“Anything your kitty heart desires,” Hannibal replied in a slight tease.
“Very funny, Hannibal,” Selina replied sarcastically. “But in all fairness, you should know that we Lynxian women crave being intimately handled both physically and mentally by our mates. I crave being physically close to you like we were last night in the tub. I need that kind of intimate interaction with you, Hannibal. I need you to love me on a physical level as we did last night. Can you do that for me?”
“Of course, princess,” Hannibal answered lovingly. “Last night proved we could do that without causing a problem with our vows. I’m kind of glad you insisted on taking that bath with me. You have a place in the bath with me anytime your heart desires. Also, something just occurred to me. Since you seem to crave my touch and physical presence, what better way to oblige you than to occasionally give you a nice massage. That would surely help to satisfy that itch, wouldn’t it?”
“I never thought of that, but yeah,” Selina purred. “A massage is a perfect way to be intimate. You can do that only if you allow me to reciprocate. We’re a team and need to take care of each other on all levels.”
“Deal,” Hannibal chimed.
“Another way I can get the physical intimacy without mating is for us to play together,” Selina stated.
“What do you mean?” Hannibal asked.
“Close contact sports like wrestling, for instance,” Selina suggested. “I just love to wrestle.”
“Oh,” Hannibal crowed. “That should be an interesting match. I might just try that one day. It’s been a while since I’ve wrestled anyone. But let’s leave that alone until we’re sure that our wounds are completely healed. I want to make sure my ribs are 100% before doing any wrestling with you. You are quite a bit stronger than I am.”
“Not a problem,” Selina agreed. “I’m sure there are other ways we can do this. You must also realize this isn’t just for my benefit. It’s for yours as well. The intimate interaction I’m speaking of is to help both of us work off any excess energy and keep our bodies and minds in balance. I know you’re familiar with chi and how it works. By doing this, we can keep our bodies and minds in balance so that we don’t get too overly zealous with one another, if you get my meaning.”
“Absolutely,” Hannibal stated. “Besides, I just love to touch and stroke your skin. It’s so soft and pleasant.”
“I know,” Selina replied with a sultry smile. “I’m glad I please you. Here, let me please you even more.” She pulled her nightgown off, standing nude before him…scars and all. “I love you,” she purred, pulling Hannibal into a firm embrace, kissing him softly on the lips. He responded instantly, stroking her back and hips gently as they kissed.
“You can be such a seductive little minx when you want, can’t you?” Hannibal chimed after the kiss while holding her close.
“Oh, this is nothing,” Selina crowed. “You have yet to see me seductive. If I wanted to truly seduce you, you’d be jelly in my hands.”
“You mean putty,” Hannibal corrected. “And yes, I would be putty. I’m already putty in your hands. When you do that thing with your eyes, I just can’t say no. Is it like this with all Lynxian women? Do they all have power over their mates like you have over me?”
“Most of the time,” Selina stated, “But it doesn’t always work. It depends greatly on the individual and their attitudes at the moment we want intimacy. Most Lynxian women know when and when not to approach their mates to be intimate. You, as a human, are much easier to read than a Lynxian male, which makes my job that much easier. But despite your being a human, you can be difficult to read at times. Our telepathic fusion has helped with that.” She saw a worried look in his eye and added, “But never fear, my prince. I would never override your will. I don’t think I could, even if I wanted to. You have an incredibly strong will, much stronger than you realize.”
“That’s kind of you to say that, Selina,” Hannibal replied. “But my will isn’t nearly as strong as you think. A lot of it is outright stubbornness, which can be problematic.”
Selina kissed him on the lips with a quick peck. “You don’t seem to see what I do, my prince,” she purred. “You shouldn’t constantly beat yourself down like that. You have great strength of mind and will that helps you to do great good.”
“Yeah,” Hannibal agreed. “But that same strength also caused me to do great evil too. I fear what I’m capable of. These last few days have proven that. I don’t trust myself with this strength and power so I constantly remind myself of where I came from. I’ll not go back into that Darkness again.”
“Look at me,” Selina ordered, looking him in the eye. “You are not evil. Yes, you’ve made mistakes in life and taken wrong turns…as we all have. But that makes you a living human soul. You’re not the evil loathsome monster you think you are. I know you, Hannibal. You would not knowingly hurt anyone out of malice. It’s not who you are. Please, my husband; rip this fear out by the roots. Whatever you are or whatever you’re becoming, I’ll always be with you. This is why the Lord put us together. We need each other. I need you and you need me.”
Hannibal hugged Selina tightly, laying his head on her shoulder. “You’re right,” he whispered. “Thank you for slapping some sense into me. Whatever I’m becoming, I cannot fear it, otherwise, the enemy wins.” He kissed her gently again, holding her close and just enjoying her physical presence within his grasp. “Selina, can I ask you something?” he asked softly, “…something personal?”
“Of course,” Selina replied, noticing a growing tension in Hannibal.
“How do you remain so calm right now?” Hannibal asked in a tone that betrayed his rising tensions. “I can barely control myself right now. You’re so incredibly hot. I burn for you.”
“I see,” Selina replied softly, holding him firmly about the waist. “I burn for you too, but we can’t go that way yet. Our vows won’t let us.”
“I know,” Hannibal stated. “And that’s what makes this such a torment. I want that ultimate connection, but know we can’t have it yet. I don’t want to violate those vows. I have to know how you can keep such a cool head when we burn for each other like this.”
“Like this,” Selina replied, opening a portion of her mind to Hannibal she hadn’t allowed him access to before. At the same time, a sensual purr roared out of her and into Hannibal, calming his tension and raging hormones. In an instant, he suddenly understood Selina’s power over him and welcomed it. The physical tension ebbed away as he held her tightly, stroking the small of her back with his hands. “You see,” she purred in his ear, “because we are one in mind and spirit, we can have complete control over our bodies.”
“Oh, princess,” Hannibal murmured, adoring the purr that completely relaxed him. “You’re a marvel. Your purr and telepathy has set me at ease now. Do all Lynxian women have this power over their mates?”
“Yes,” Selina replied softly. “We can use our purr in concert with our telepathy to help regulate not only our energy levels, but our mate’s energy levels. This is what I was telling you about earlier. However, you must know that it isn’t a one-way street. Our mates and lovers must reciprocate in some manner to help manage our energy levels. What you’re doing now rubbing my back is just what you needed to do to keep me from losing control as you almost did. We need this physical interaction to keep ourselves balanced so we don’t violate our marriage vows.”
“I get it,” Hannibal murmured in a loving tone. “We need to engage each other like this from time to time to keep our hormones from running rampant.”
“You got it,” Selina stated. “It’s not just okay, it’s necessary for us to be intimate physically. That way we can discipline ourselves for the time when we can go all the way. It’ll make our final union that much sweeter.”
“I’ll say,” Hannibal replied. “Thank you for taming those raging hormones in me. I just didn’t know how to do it.”
“You’re welcome,” Selina answered, smiling warmly. “That’s why I’m here.”
“But you’re still incredibly hot,” Hannibal chimed with a broad smile. “I marvel every time I see you and am allowed to touch you. You’re my feline angel who has saved me from the abyss.”
“Why thank you, Hannibal,” Selina purred. “And you’re my knight in shining armor that has saved me in more ways than I can count. I’ll love you forever.” She kissed Hannibal gently on the lips.
“So will I,” Hannibal declared. “I’ll come back from the dead if I must to be with you. We’re destined to be together in this world and the next.”
“I know,” Selina chimed softly, laying her head on his shoulder and purring deeply for Hannibal. “We are one and no man or creature anywhere can put it asunder.”
“Amen,” Hannibal said softly, stroking Selina’s back while holding her and soaking up her purr. Without warning, his hunger returned and his belly rumbled loudly, making him chuckle. “My belly’s telling me it’s time we got dressed and went to get something to eat,” he declared. “I’d better do what it says before it decides to eat some other part of me.”
Selina’s belly growled seconds later and she laughed. “Yeah,” she agreed as Hannibal released her. “That sounds good. I’m famished myself.” They walked to their dressers to get dressed.
Fifteen minutes later, Hannibal and Selina knocked on Nathanael’s door. Selina wore a plain silvery gray dress with short sleeves and a plain leather belt around her waist with a silver buckle. Her feet were shod with a pair of silver sandals. A shawl of the same color draped about her shoulders with her hair pulled back and braided into a long ponytail. The dress and shawl complimented her natural beauty. Hannibal wore long pants and a short sleeve shirt with a light jacket, all of which were tan in color, and a pair of leather loafers. Nathanael opened the door, clad in a similar fashion to Hannibal only in gray. He looked at the pair and raised an eyebrow, noticing a glow in their faces as they smiled at him.
A smile crossed Nathanael’s face. “You two deepened your connection, didn’t you?” he asked.
“A little bit, dad,” Selina replied. “I finally got the courage to tell him what I craved from him.”
“I see,” Nathanael replied. “And you finally released that tension, didn’t you?”
“Yeah dad,” Selina admitted. “Now that he understands what I need, I was able to release that excess tension and it feels so good. Hannibal was also able to release some tension of his own.”
“Good,” Nathanael stated with a smile. “I noticed you’ve been struggling with it for a while. Now, I can see you’re much calmer and not so uptight.” He turned to Hannibal and put a fatherly hand on his shoulder. “Hannibal, as her husband and mate, she needs that intimate physical and mental connection to you. She craves it since you’re her mate.”
“I know,” Hannibal replied. “She explained to me this morning what she desires from me and why it’s important that we be intimate. I have no problem with that. We found out that we can be intimate and not let it get out of control, which is a load off my mind.”
“Excellent,” Nathanael crowed, smiling broadly. “You’re beginning to understand Lynxian women and their little quirks. They thrive on physical and mental contact on all levels. It helps to dispel excess tensions within them, both physically and mentally. You don’t want to see what happens when Lynxian women can’t properly release that tension. They become veritable animals when it happens…consumed with releasing that tension at all costs; a cost that would be detrimental to both of you because of your vows.”
“Oh, I get you,” Hannibal answered. “Say no more. I understand completely. We won’t let that happen, will we Selina?”
“Not now that we know how to regulate our desires,” Selina stated with a sultry smile. “That bath last night was great and this morning was even better. It allowed me a level of intimacy with Hannibal I hadn’t had before that makes me tingle just thinking about it.”
“Down kitty,” Hannibal joked.
Selina playfully punched Hannibal in the arm. “You know what I mean,” she chided.
“I do,” Hannibal stated. “That’s why I said it.”
Nathanael smiled warmly at the pair of lovers. “It does my heart good to see you like this, Selina,” he chimed. “Now you’ll know the pleasure of a true soul mate. But be warned, Hannibal; Selina can be temperamental at times when she doesn’t get what she needs. You must be there to help her regulate her desires and drives, which she inherited from her mother. Only as a team will you be able to do that and remain happy.”
“Of course,” Hannibal stated. “I know she has a tiger’s heart that needs nurturing. But that can wait for the moment. Right now, I’m more concerned about that’s tiger’s appetite. I’m starving. Let’s go get something to eat. I’m so hungry I could eat one of those giant antelopes we saw coming here all by myself.”
Nathanael chuckled. “Then follow me,” he stated, leading Hannibal and Selina to the dining hall.